By Genie Z. Laborde, Ph.D.
misunderstandings, disagreements, arguments, wars happen. They
can be solved with advanced communication strategies. Here in
this series are strategies for eleven types of conflicts.
Part 1 of a Series
When a conflict looms, what can you do
to settle on disagreement?
Avoidance is a good strategy but once in the middle
of a conflict, that’s not an option. Avoidance behaviors often
exacerbate the underlying conflicts, as well.
Settle means to find a way around or through
the conflict so that peace and pleasure can return. Anger,
frustration, and resentment sour your day. Of course some people
do take pleasure from conflict. If so, don’t read on.
I’m assuming that you won’t completely close
down and retreat from conflict, but that you are not addicted to the
adrenaline rush of anger/fear from confrontations and seek it
out. In other words, relationships that energize you in a
positive way are your métier. Thus these eleven strategies
I’m presenting one article at a time. Different strategies for
different kinds of conflicts: interior, personal, family,
friends, casual acquaintances, chance encounters, work, church,
community, nation, and planet. You may mix and match these
strategies, of course.
So the first strategy is for a conflict inside
you—among your sub-personalities. You are not aware of
sub-personalities? O.K. How about when you want to stay in
bed, yet you get up? Or how about when you want to leave a party
and, at the same time, a part of you wants to stay? How about
when you know you must phone your mother, but you don’t? How
about when you want to remain single and still get married? Find
a new job and stay in the security of this one? Our two-sided
brains set up conflicts.
We all have these conflicting parts. The more
aware you are of them and the more you seek reconciliation, the
healthier you will be—physically and mentally.
O. K. So what’s the strategy for internal
A quick, efficient way to discover all
the pieces of the quandary and resolve them with conscious logic, hot
seat can be done alone or with a guide, if you prefer. If you
choose a guide, be sure s/he is supportive, bright, and has your
trust. Otherwise, do this alone.
If you want to read the rationale behind this
strategy, there is a list of books at the end of the article.
Frederick Perls, M.D., made this technique famous and routinely
performed “miracle” cures with it. Years of dysfunctional
behaviors on the part of thousands of people ended with this
method. Here’s a chance to discover for yourself secrets from
your own unconscious and pathways toward rewarding decisions.
Take two chairs and place them facing each
other. Allow at least 30 minutes with no interruptions.
Turn off your cell phone. Lock your office door. Whatever.
Think about your conflict. Write the core dilemma
down. For example,
I want to get married Part 1
I want to stay single Part 2
I want to take this job offer Part 1
I want the security of my present job Part 2
Now, name the two parts. For the first example,
Part 1 Future husband/wife
Part 2 Casanova or bachelor girl
For the second example,
Part 1 Risk taker
Part 2 Security Sam
Now pretend you are Part 1.
name, and begin to tell Part 2 all the reasons you are who you
are. Be eloquent. If you want, you can take notes so you
can remember all the reasons you are Part 1.
When you run out of reasons, get up and sit in the
opposite Part 2 chair. Pretend Part 1 is still there, but you as
Part 2 move. This step is important.
Now, become Part 2 and list the reasons for the
opposite behavior. Dig deep and find as many as you can. If
writing helps you remember, make notes.
Now get up from Chair 2, take a deep breath, and
become Part 1 as you sit in Part 1’s chair. Begin to tell Part 2,
still in imaginary Part 2’s chair, why Part 1 must win this conflict.
Repeat this switching of roles and switching chairs
until you notice a resolution. This will show up in your body
first, then in your voice tone, then in words.
Fritz Perls called these
sub-personalities top dog and underdog. These may show up in your
conflict. If so, according to Dr. Perls, the underdog always
won. What does this mean?
The top dog is what you should do. The
underdog is what you want to do. The underdog has more motivation
and energy. So the want will win. That’s OK,
actually, because the want will supply the energy to make your decision
the “right” decision.
Also, you will learn a lot about your own unconscious and release a lot
of blocked energy that has been idling inside
Enjoy your resolution
The next article will be “Strategies for Conflicts
in Marriage and Such.”
Send me an email about what happened when you tried
the Hot Seat Gestalt. I’m interested in feedback. Genie@influence-integrity.com
Communication presents the three-day training
Influencing with Integrity
Week of March 8 OR
The Week of March 15
Street, Palo Alto, Calif.
For more information
visit the Web page,
email, or phone 800.228.4069
Genie Fulfills Contract with Santa
County Office of Education in Santa Clara, California
The budget crisis in California created a
a series of trainings being conducted by Spenish-speaking
IDEA-certified trainers in school districts in San Francisco and Santa
Cruz. Since the Influencing with Integrity workbooks, textbook,
and videos have been translated into Spanish, the Hispanic parents
learned interpersonal and family communication skills quickly and
easily in their native language. As one enthusiastic
Spanish-speaking father said, "I have learned to see with my heart."
The break in the series of Influencing with Integrity trainings in
Spanish created time for four additional days of trainings for the
Office of Education—this time in English.
Eleanor Oelsner writes about 3-Minute
I got on your website and viewed the 3 minute demo.
Brilliant concept: You provide easy-to- chew, helpful bites
of understanding how to communicate with others. Following is the
immediate response your demo provoked in my thinking:
As I'm sure you know, Meyers-Briggs is
widely used in companies to try to grow some sense of
relativity. The "E's (extroverts) and "I's" (introverts)
still have a
common problem with communication (i.e., "what is useful
Corporate cultures tend to focus
employees attention around:
symbols (trophies of battles won
and rewards granted);
- kow-tow to
power (you are my boss,
therefore whatever you say is right and I will obey);
rivalry and unresolved family
dynamics (you are boss/coworker) therefore you are my
father and therefore
anything you say is suspect=>wrong).
- pop-psychology (I
have a positive
attitude, I'm assertive, therefore I am right and don't have to
(I have a degree(s) from
Harvard, Stanford, etc, I'm a god, where's my BMW?)
(if I'm in shape, lean &
well dressed, I deserve special treatment, after all this is
a LOT of
work to keep up AND those who are in shape are the only others I
to observe with respect)
To be fair, people come to these
accommodations honestly. They are wandering around in a
grasping at any clues that might lead them out. As you and I
these are all trance-supporting judgments and reaction
Whether you are and "E" or an "I", doesn't
mean you have any reasonable relationship with the "in here" (yourself)
or the "out there" (all the other people on the planet).
simply noticing that there are actual beings in those bodies you
interact with every day is a revelation to the corporate android.
fact that they might hear and understand what you say better if you
approach them in their preferred mode of communication is like coming
to Jesus for some. Dawn begins to break on a very dark horizon of
long winters night. They are not alone in a hostile
territory! It can
be a tremendous relief.
Eleanor Oelsner at firstname.lastname@example.org
Influencing with Integrity
Around the World
Genie Z. Laborde and her
Kathryn in Hong Kong
presented live in these cities and countries
Johannesburg, South Africa
St. Petersburg, Russia
Now the E-Learning program,
3-Minute Steps to
is available everywhere there is broadband for your
You can experience a live demonstration of this
streaming video online training by following this link.
Jerry Laude of
IBM had this to say about the
"This class is the E-Learning
equivalent of the sit-down real time classroom version of Influencing
With Integrity seminars developed by Dr.
Genie LaBorde. I had the opportunity about 10 years ago to take
classroom version here in Rochester. It was by far one of the best
the best) classes I had ever taken in my 12 years with IBM at that
time. Next month I will have 22 years with IBM. Genie called me about 2 months ago and offered me the
opportunity to use the "3 Minutes/Day
for 90 Days" E-learning class...
"I have used it
every workday since it was installed in February of this year. ... Its
easy, its educational, and its fun.
to marketing, procurement (buyers/commodity managers/engineers),
development manufacturing, anywhere really. It can be
applied to your life outside of IBM as well.
"Understanding of diverse communication methods and techniques used by
people in workplace or personal lives. Develops affinity for
differing communication personalities (driven by cultural backgrounds,
gender, acquired techniques, etc.).
"Goal—Tune in, absorb and learn the other person's modes of
communication, bond more quickly, capture and solidify relationships,
and resolve issues faster with fewer conflicts so that each side
(opposing or not) dovetails toward a WIN-WIN situation for all parties
class is so interesting and helpful, you don't want to miss
anything. I learned things that I never even thought
about before, especially paying attention to another person's
mannerisms and postures as they communicate. ...You learn powers of
observation and how to use them for your benefit and the benefit of
"I JUST WANT TO SAY THIS THING IS REALLY GREAT
AND TO BE ABLE TO VIEW IT IN AN E-LEARNING ENVIRONMENT WITHOUT TAKING
UP A FULL DAY OR MULTIPLE DAYS IN A CLASSROOM, HELPS ME MAINTAIN MY
PRODUCTIVITY, STILL LEARN ABOUT AND APPLY THE PRINCIPLES OF GOOD
COMMUNICATION IN JUST 3 MINUTES